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California Bans Small Plastic Toiletry Bottles From Hotels

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California Governor Gavin Newsom signed first-in-nation legislation to ban California hotels from distributing small, single use plastic toiletry bottles to guests.

The Assembly Bill 1162 is authored by the California State Assembly- member Ash Kalra, and supported by the California Hotel and Lodging Association. It effectively restricts the use of bottles, including shampoo, conditioner, and bath soap across California hotels and lodging establishments.

The new rule introduced by the State of California will take effect on January 1, 2023, which will be applicable to large hotels with more than 50 rooms. The regulation is applicable to all hotels in 2024. The legislation aims to regulate the hotel and lodging industry to minimize its environmental footprint by curbing plastic consumption.

The statewide legislation was inspired by an ordinance in Santa Cruz County, which banned hotels from providing small plastic bottles of personal care products.

In a statement, Ash Kalra said, "Single-use products like those tiny plastic bottles commonly provided in hotel rooms represent a sizable amount of waste that can be easily eliminated through more cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternatives."

Karla quoted the Wall Street Journal that billions of half-full bottles get thrown away every year, roughly 1,000 bottles for every hotel room. It is estimated that with the new law, more than 500 million tiny plastic bottles would be eliminated annually across 515,285 hotel rooms in California.

The move coincides with efforts taken by major countries and companies around the world to reduce the heightened threat of plastics.

Hotel chains including Marriott International and InterContinental Group have already announced that they are eliminating tiny toiletry bottles soon.

European Union is banning many single-use plastic items from 2021, while India is set to launch a campaign to scrap single-use plastics from cities and villages by 2022.

United Arab Emirates-based carrier Etihad Airways has decided to reduce 80 percent of single-use plastic from all operations by 2022.

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